Dear Miss Snark,
I am seeking representation for my romantic comedy novel, XYZ, completed at 90,000 words. It was highly commended in the New Great Read competition run by the UKAuthors website. It has been voted into the top ten chart of its genre on the You Write On website, sponsored by the Arts Council (England). It has also been short-listed in several smaller competitions. (none of this is anything I care about, you could leave it all out)
Nearly Dearly is a contemporary tale set in the town of Throcking Parva, England, amid the dated decor and padded banquettes of The Pink Pig Café.
Róisin Connor, a waitress at the café, has three men in her life. There’s her boss Alex Dearly, Gabe Locksmith the celebrity stylist, and a corpse. It’s the corpse who is causing Róisin the most concern. He’s taken a secret to the grave and she is determined to discover what it is. When she does, she understands how the Dearly family put the D in dysfunctional.
More than one hundred of my short stories have been published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad. I have also contributed to four of the Sexy Shorts anthologies (Accent Press). (ah!! Here are the pub credits I DO want to hear about!)
Thank you for reading my manuscript.
This is a good query letter.
Now, let's pray to dog you can write.
There’s no doubt, had he known he was about to have a coronary, William Charles Dearly would have preferred to meet his demise mid-tournament on his beloved bowling green. As it was, he went arse over toupee in the biscuit section, while picking up the weekend groceries in Singh’s Eight ’til Late.
Maggie, his wife, was mortified. Not because William had collapsed over the Mr Kipling’s, but because a neighbour witnessed the whole sorry episode and spread the gossip throughout the East Midlands that she’d spied two tins of Spam and a copy of Playboy in his shopping basket.
Alex, Maggie’s son – and, incidentally, my boss at The Pink Pig Café – assured her that no one was going to be remotely interested in her husband’s little peccadilloes.
Jeez, couldn’t a man be excused a little soft porn at the weekend?
Apparently, Maggie’s shame and embarrassment lay more with her husband’s purchase of the tinned, processed meat than the fact that he had a penchant for naked ladies.
“He knows we only buy the wafer-thin organic.”
I wonder if somewhere in the Good Housekeeping Guide, there is a chapter on pork product etiquette.
“Is this your mother’s signature dish?” I prodded the skin on what looked suspiciously like a strawberry and broccoli quiche. “You could get her to give you the recipe. Put it on our menu at The Pig.”
“It’s no laughing matter, Raz,” said Alex. “Isn’t it bad enough we’re cremating my dad today without despatching the rest of us with food poisoning?”
“ I presume you did offer to do the catering?”
“And she refused, yes. What is it with her? She hasn’t been the same since Millennium Eve.”
I knew all about that. Maggie had told me. ‘Fifty is a milestone in a woman’s life, Róisin. And what do I get? Shingles and the bloody menopause.’
“I only hope people don’t think I’m responsible for this,” Alex continued. “I could lose all credibility. Imagine what our clientele would think if I churned out this sort of...”
Words failed him. Hardly surprising. In the two years I’d worked for Alex, I’d never known him ‘churn’ anything out. He supplied top quality fare, to a discerning clientele. Okay, so we did a roaring lunch trade in BLTs, mainly because we were opposite the bank and the guys there liked to grab something cheap. No doubt, they claimed five-course lunches on their company expenses, but that’s for their accounts department and the taxman to worry about.
I also have to emphasize that The Pink Pig is a café and not a caff. It said so on our letterheads and, naturally, in pink lettering above the double, bow-fronted, middle-terraced shop on Lower Edge Moor, Throcking Parva.
Alex slumped against the doorframe, attempting despair, which he did extraordinarily badly. No matter how he organised his facial features, he still looked beautiful. It’s his mouth, I think. His lips always appear to be forming into a smile, even when he’s upset or angry. But then, I was biased. I fell in love with him the first time I watched him demonstrate the correct way to tease the flesh from a ripe mango.
by dog, she can. Yes there's some paring to be done, but I'd jump on this one with all four feet.